Over the past seven days or so I’ve started looking at which teams are the most efficient in front of goal, there is a whole host of data available on the main page of this site so please feel free to have a look at some or even all of the articles to get up to speed with what has been created so far. But it is now time to talk defensive.

But now I’m going to flip matters on its head and look at it from a defensive point of view we know how many shots it takes for a team to score a goal but just how many shots will they face before conceding, once again I now have the answers for you.

Once again thanks to whoscored.com for all the necessary data.

Here is the Premier League table with additional information such as the amount of shots faced this season and per game average.

R Team Shots pg Games Played Total Shots
1 Manchester City 6.3 11 69
2 Manchester United 10.6 11 117
3 Tottenham 9 11 99
4 Chelsea 11.9 11 131
5 Arsenal 9.5 11 105
6 Liverpool 7.8 11 86
7 Burnley 17.7 11 195
8 Leicester 16.1 11 177
9 Brighton 13.8 11 152
10 Newcastle United 11.8 11 130
11 Watford 11.8 11 130
12 Southampton 11.5 11 127
13 Huddersfield 11 11 121
14 Stoke 13.9 11 153
15 Swansea 14.6 11 161
16 West Bromwich Albion 13.6 11 150
17 Bournemouth 14.8 11 163
18 West Ham 13.7 11 151
19 Everton 13.8 11 152
20 Crystal Palace 12.6 11 139

But here is the most interesting bit, I can now show you how many shots a team will have to face before conceding and they are ranked in terms of what we will call a defensive ratio. The ranking will be the opposite to the shot efficiency so this time around we will want to rank from highest to lowest.

Team GA Shots Faced Defensive Ratio
Manchester United 5 117 23.3
Burnley 9 195 21.6
Tottenham 7 99 14.1
Brighton 11 152 13.8
Chelsea 10 131 13.1
Newcastle United 10 130 13.0
Swansea 13 161 12.4
Bournemouth 14 163 11.6
Southampton 11 127 11.5
Leicester 16 177 11.1
West Bromwich Albion 14 150 10.7
Manchester City 7 69 9.9
Huddersfield 13 121 9.3
Stoke 22 153 7.0
Everton 22 152 6.9
West Ham 23 151 6.6
Arsenal 16 105 6.5
Crystal Palace 22 139 6.3
Watford 21 130 6.2
Liverpool 17 86 5.0

So there is the table but if we look at it in graph form then it will make more sense and be easier to digest


There is quite the wide spread in terms of defensive ratios and it highlights how good or how bad a Premier League defence can be. Top of the chart is Manchester United and this probably comes as no real surprise as they have conceded just five goals all season.

Burnley are exceeding expectations this season without doubt and their start to the campaign is built on a defensive bedrock so the fact that they can absorb over 21 shots before conceding highlights how good they have been in these first couple of months.

Tottenham may not be ruthless in front of goal but that can be negated by the fact they give very little away at the other end, that said there is quite the drop off between them and the top two as they can absorb 33% less shots than that of Burnley.

An interesting footnote here is Manchester City who have a defensive ratio of 9.9 but that comes with the caveat that they are hardly even having to deal with attempts on goal in comparison to the other teams in the Premier League, therefore they would have to be in a position of conceding something ludicrous like 1 or 2 goals to improve their rating. So they should not really be punished for having such a watertight defence anyway.

Things like that will always throw up anomalies but that is not the case when you look at the very bottom of the scale. the two sides that have conceded the most goals in the top half of the table also occupy the bottom two slots in the ranking.

Marco Silva’s Watford have been very entertaining this season and a marked improvement from the campaign before, part of that entertainment is down to the fact they are scoring a fair few but conceding even more. Every 6th shot that they face ends up in goal.

But the reading is even worse for Jurgen Klopp whose Liverpool gift the opposition a goal once every five attempts, further highlighting the defensive issues they have. Also you need to take into account that they have recently won two games emphatically after conceding just one goal in the process, had we captured this data in week 9 the reading could have been a lot worse.

I’ll also add in a chart with the variance between where a team sits in the Premier League and where they rank in the list above.


Look at Liverpool’s variance a staggering 15 places worse off than their league placing while Arsenal and Manchester City fare little better as they are both 11 places less than where they currently find themselves in the Premier League.

The reason behind Manchester City has been explained above but you could say that the reason that Arsenal have had such a shift is that they are not actually facing that much in terms of shots but they are conceding far too many goals in relation to the rest of the ‘big six’.

Swansea have the biggest variance with an improvement of 12 places on their worrying league position, the reason behind this is that they have faced a lot of efforts on goal (they sit in the bottom five) and have not conceded a dramatic amount it is just the chronic lack of goals which is letting them down this season.

Next time I do an article like this I will rank the shots faced by each team so we can get a better idea and we can compare and contrast this also, another couple of things we can add are week to week changes in the rankings and also average lines to see which teams sit below and above average in terms of shots faced.

If we want to get really technical we could also fuse this data alongside the shot efficiency data and see how the two compare, I guess that is more work that I have created for myself but it is fair to say that it is getting more interesting with each piece created. Thanks for reading.


I hope this was of interest to you and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.